The stock barometer slipped on Friday as smaller-cap stocks continued to dominate trading activities in the local market.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 34.69 points or 0.48 percent to close at 7,238.46, in line with mostly sluggish regional markets.
For the week, the PSEi declined by 51.42 points or 0.7 percent.
“Local shares closed lower as investors digested the biggest (US) jobless claims surge since March last year, outweighing the unveiling of [newly elected US president Joe] Biden’s stimulus plan,” said Luis Gerardo Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development.
Initial jobless claims in the United States surged to 965,000, overshooting market expectations, for the week ended January 9.
The industrial, holding firm and property counters all declined by less than 1 percent.
On the other hand, the mining/oil counter added 1.43 percent, while the services counter rose by 0.37 percent.
Value turnover for the day amounted to P11.02 billion. There was P423.29 million worth of net foreign selling.
Despite the PSEi’s decline, market breadth was positive as investors heeded trading opportunities outside the main basket. There were 120 advancers that edged out 103 decliners, while 42 stocks were unchanged.
Leading conglomerate SM Investments shed 2.41 percent, while fast-food giant Jollibee lost 1.42 percent. Property giant SM Prime also declined by 1 percent.
On the other hand, BDO, Ayala Land, Puregold and BPI all slipped by less than 1 percent.
Notable decliners outside the PSEi included AC Energy, Dito and MRC, which fell by 2.56 percent, 0.49 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.
On the other hand, Ayala Corp. added 1.49 percent, while URC rose by 0.19 percent.
But speculative and second-liner stocks sizzled in the market. Basic Energy was the day’s most actively traded company, racking up 36.19 percent.
Apollo Global, the second most actively traded stock, rose by 7.14 percent, followed by Premiere Horizon and Abra Mining, which gained 1.05 percent and 50 percent, respectively.
Another outperformer was TBGI, which surged by 48.65 percent.
Retailer MerryMart added 4.97 percent after announcing its entry into the wholesale business.
Newly listed Converge rose by 0.26 percent. —Doris Dumlao-Abadilla
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